Earlier this year, MultiChoice announced the Talent Factory Academy (MTFA), a new Pan-African social investment initiative project that has the potential to help the African movie industry attain a world-class status.
The MTFA, a fully funded year-long training programme for young people desirous of making careers in the film and television industry, will also create a new generation of professionals with top-tier skills and boost local content production, according to James Omokwe, director of Ajoche, a drama series currently airing on Africa Magic.
Speaking in an interview in Lagos, Omokwe said MultiChoice should be commended for conceiving the MTF initiative.
“I believe strongly in capacity building and for MultiChoice to take on the Talent Factory Academy initiative to educate and train professionals that will bring value to the industry. It is a great step in the right direction and I must commend MultiChoice for it,” he said.
He added that the MTF is a major intervention in the African creative industry and is a continuation of MultiChoice’s efforts to ensure that African moviemakers and television professionals are highly skilled and able to create jobs.
For the African creative industry to take a giant leap, Omokwe said what is required is the sort of investment MultiChoice is making.
“I believe the industry needs to invest in infrastructure and systems that will allow it to grow organically and authentically. For African film, a major challenge is a structured and systematic distribution channel that appeals to the African market.”
For example, we need affordable cinema chains that cater to everyday Nigerians and other African countries.
“For TV, there is already an existing and working structure, but TV stations across board need to improve on their production value to stand a sustainable chance in the current content market,” Omokwe said.
The MTF initiative is set to deliver three touchpoints that would launch throughout the year: the MTF academies, Masterclasses and the MTF Portal. The first to launch is the MTF Academy, a 12-month educational programme aimed at furnishing 60 deserving, young, talented people who want to work and innovate in film and television production.